Salvation – Direction or Line

I’ve always been curious about the topic of salvation and how a lot of people see it. As far as I can tell, there seem to be two camps; (1) salvation is treated as a line, or (2) salvation is treated as a direction. The “Line” camp says once you’re over the line, you are all set. (I’m ignoring the fact about once-saved-always-saved or not, in either case, if you stay over the line, you are fine). The inherent problems with the “Line” are two-fold; (1) where it the line, and (2) what exactly do I have to do to get over the line? And that last question is really the straw that breaks the camel’s back for me. It seems to betray every aspect about Jesus that is in the Scripture. Jesus sought the closest relationship with God, not to get over a “Line” with God. He did his “utmost for His Highest” as the devotional book goes.

So I’m very intrigued by the “Direction” camp. It would basically say that, so long as you’re moving in the right direction, you’re saved. Though there seems to be one problem there too; how fast do you have to go? I feel that that answer is slightly easier – go as fast as you can. So long as you’re being honest that it is really the direction you want to go, you’ll end up going as fast as you can. And if you’re tricking yourself into thinking you want to go in that direction, but really don’t – well you’ll never get anywhere in the first place. While “Direction” seems better logically, I’m not sure it is supported by Scripture – I can honestly only think of one example: the thief on the cross. But there is a problem there – this thief believes in God, and believes in the Kingdom. He knows the Gospel, he has heard Jesus preach it. He only needed two things, to know Jesus as Messiah and repent.

With that as an example I think we can come to a conclusion though. The only “fair” way is to do what you believe is right, regardless of if you’re going to end up in the Kingdom or dead forever. Repent because of God. Believe because of God. Not because of what God is going to do for you. We are not about ourselves, we are about God. It seems that an initial “Line” is needed, a conversion, like the thief on the cross. And after the “Line”, comes the “Direction”, if we were to give it a big fancy word, it might be sanctification. But certainly the question “Is this required for salvation?” has no place in a religion that has anything to do with Jesus. He certainly didn’t do “just” what was required.

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